Special Correspondent

15 districts make good progress

CHENNAI: Four districts in the State have achieved more than 95 per cent photo electoral roll coverage and 11 others over 90 per cent. However, a large number of districts lag behind.

This has prompted Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta to write to all district election officers, asking them to accelerate the work of photographing voters and deleting the names of dead electors or those who no longer reside in their old address.

Tiruvarur (99.12 per cent), Dindigul (97.8), Karur (97.01) and Krishnagiri (96.77) have covered the most voters. Salem (94.06) and Thanjavur (94.04) are close behind.

EC unhappy

Not pleased with the performance, the Election Commission, at a review meeting in New Delhi on March 13, noted that Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Tripura, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry had done "exceedingly well."

In Tamil Nadu, seven districts have achieved between 85 per cent and 90 per cent coverage. In five districts (Madurai, Tiruvannamalai, Tirunelveli, Villupuram and Coimbatore), the coverage is between 80 and 85 per cent and hence, "not satisfactory," while Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram have not even managed 80 per cent coverage.

In a communication on the photo electoral rolls to all District Election Officers, the CEO notes that "despite meticulous planning and several rounds of field operations/verification starting from July 2006, Tamil Nadu has reached only 86.6 per cent, an increase of only 11 and a half percent over the EPIC coverage reached in the State by end of April 2006."

The Election Commission wants all the voters covered at an early date and "indicated" that it would issue instructions for submission of monthly progress reports. It would review with Chief Electoral Officers the progress made during every quarter.